Africa Football In 2021 : What to expect

Africa football in 2021: what to expect
          Africa football in 2021: what to expect

 

African football in 2021: What to expect .   Liverpool sharpshooter Mohamed Salah will be a star in demand during 2021 with Egypt wanting him not only for World Cup and Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers, but also the Olympic Games.

The record seven-time African champions face between six and eight World Cup matches and two in the Cup of Nations as the continent plays catch-up after 2020 schedules were severely affected by the coronavirus.

Qualifiers for the Olympics are permitted three over-age players in a tournament otherwise restricted to under-23 footballers and Salah tops the Egyptian wish list as they plan for Tokyo.

Here, we outline what lies ahead for African football with a new Confederation of African Football (CAF) president set to be elected in March after incumbent Ahmad Ahmad was banned for five years by FIFA.

In World Cup, Salah and fellow former African Footballer of the Year Pierre-Emerick  Aubameyang will come face to face in Group F where Gabon are likely to pose the biggest threat to Egypt.

Libya, who cannot play at home because of a violent struggle for political control of the oil-rich country, and off-form Angola are also in the section and only the team finishing first survive.

African champions Algeria, Tunisia, Nigeria, Cameroon, Mali, Egypt, Ghana, Senegal, Morocco and the Democratic Republic of Congo are seeded to win the 10 groups and reach the two-leg final phase.

In Cup of Nations, Among the last 10 champions, 2012 title-holders Zambia are in most danger of missing the 24-team tournament in Cameroon, which has been put back one year to the beginning of 2022 because of Covid-19.

The Chipolopolo (Copper Bullets) are last in a group where defending champions Algeria have already qualified, Zimbabwe lie second and Botswana third.

Zambia have lost three of four qualifiers and host Algeria and visit Zimbabwe during March as they try to avoid missing three consecutive Cup of Nations finals.

In Nations Championship, Hosts Cameroon hope to emulate 2018 champions Morocco and win at home a 16-team competition reserved for footballers playing in their country of birth.

It will be a tough task for the Cameroonians, though, after a change of coaches and disappointing warm-up results for the January 16-February 7 tournament.

Qualifying was riddled with shocks and Algeria, Ghana, the Ivory Coast, Nigeria and Senegal were eliminated while former champions Tunisia withdrew after securing a place, citing fixture congestion.

 

Olympic Games

Africa has collected two gold, a silver and two bronze medals from the last seven Olympic Games football tournaments with Nigeria winning in 1996 and Cameroon emulating them four years later.

Neither country will be in Tokyo, however, with Egypt, the Ivory Coast and South Africa the African representatives.

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